RCM wins best silver coin at 11th International Commemorative Coins Contest

The Royal Canadian Mint took home the Silver Coin of the Year Award as well as two third-place honours in the 11th International Commemorative Coins Contest in Moscow this September.

In addition to the top silver coin, the Mint earned the third-place prize in the “Successful Artistic Solution” and “Original Technology” categories of the “Coin Constellation-2017” contest, which was organized by Water Mark Publishing House, which publishes The Gold Chervonets magazine. Held Sept. 22, the contest included nearly 270 coins issued between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31 of last year. Altogether, there were 40 participating mints, banks and coin distributors from 27 countries around the world.

“As our customer base spans the globe, international recognition of our coins is important endorsement of our reputation for craftsmanship and innovation,” said Mint spokesman Alex Reeves.


The contest included eight major categories:

  • “Silver Coin of the Year”;
  • “Successful Artistic Solution”;
  • “Original Technology”;
  • “Unique Concept”;
  • “Coin Classic”;
  • “Souvenir Coin”;
  • “Gold Coin of the Year”; and
  • “Coin of the Year.”

The winning coins were determined by absentee voting of the members of an international expert jury based on coin images and descriptions. In the competition jury, there were specialists from world museums and auction houses as well as representatives of numismatic associations and specialized publications from around the world. The People’s Choice Award was determined by an online vote at gold10.ru.

The Royal Canadian Mint’s glow-in-the-dark coin, ‘Northern Lights in the Moonlight,’ won third pace in the ‘Successful Artistic Solution’ category.


The Royal Canadian Mint’s five-kilogram silver coin, “Charles Edenshaw: Argillite Chest,” was chosen as silver coin of the year. The pure silver coin depicts the argillite chest made by Haida artist Charles Edenshaw in 1882 and ordered by doctor Israel Wood Powell. A lion with a human nose, chin and hair is depicted in the centre of the chest. Two human hands frame its face while the background includes images of the Haida people inhabiting the lands northwest of the Pacific Ocean.

The second-place silver coin was “Italy of Arts – Sardinia,” which was struck at the Italian Mint. The third-place winner was the U.S. Mint’s “Mark Twain” coin.


The winner in the Successful Artistic Solution category was “Great Imperial Crown,” which was submitted by the Central Bank of Russia and the Saint Petersburg Mint.

The second-place coin was “Christmas Battles,” which was issued by the Bank of Latvia.

The Royal Canadian Mint’s glow-in-the-dark “Northern Lights in the Moonlight” coin received the third-place prize. The reverse composition reconstructs the beauty of a winter night in Nunavut’s Auyuittuq National Park. Vertical rock rises in the background behind two howling wolves from Baffin Island. The soft, glowing moonlight is reproduced on the coin with shades of green, yellow, pink and orange.


In addition to the Royal Canadian Mint, other participating mints were:

  • Art Mint (France);
  • Coin Invest Trust (Lichtenstein);
  • Helvetic Mint (Switzerland);
  • Imprensa Nacional-Casa Da Moeda (Portugal);
  • Moneda Nueva (Spain);
  • New Zealand Post (New Zealand);
  • Pobjoy Mint (Great Britain);
  • Hungarian Mint;
  • Italian State Mint;
  • Kazakhstan Mint;
  • Royal Australian Mint;
  • Royal Spanish Mint;
  • Royal Dutch Mint;
  • Austrian Mint;
  • Mint of Poland;
  • U.S. Mint;
  • Mint of Finland;
  • Japan Mint;
  • Moscow Mint;
  • Saint Petersburg Mint, Goznak branch (Russia);
  • Monnaie de Paris (France);
  • Federal Mint Swissmint; and
  • Czech Mint.  

Participating national banks included:

  • the Bank of Latvia;
  • Bank of Lithuania;
  • National Bank of the Republic of Abkhazia;
  • National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic;
  • National Bank of Poland;
  • National Bank of the Republic of Belarus;
  • National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan;
  • Central Bank of Armenia; and
  • Central Bank of Russia.

Among the contest participants, there are also well-known coin distributors, including:

  • Downies (Australia);
  • Numiartis (Germany);
  • NumisCollect (the Netherlands);
  • Numiscom (Germany);
  • Power Coin (Italy);
  • Treasures of Oz (Australia); and
  • MasterVision (Russia).


The Royal Canadian Mint’s one-kilogram silver coin, ‘The Canadian Coin Collection,’ won third place in the ‘Original Technology’ category.

The Bank of Latvia’s “Earth” coin received first place in the Original Technology category. A brand new material – perlucor – was applied in the coin minting. It was made into an inner core and surrounded by a silver outer ring. In the centre, a round image of the Earth appears alongside a geophysical world map in colour.

The “Oyster 5th Anniversary” coin submitted by the Netherlands’ NumisCollect received the second-place price. Produced in the shape of an oyster, this coin includes a hologram and a pearl insert.

The Royal Canadian Mint’s one-kilogram silver coin, “The Canadian Coin Collection,” occupied third place. On its obverse, there are images of more than 35 historical Canadian circulation coins, each in its original diameter. With a limited mintage of 500 pieces, this ultra-high relief coin has a weight of 1,000 grams and a 102.1-mm diameter.


Other winners in the remaining five categories included:

  • “3D Diamond,” which was struck at Switzerland’s Helvetic Mint and won the Unique Concept category;
  • “The Gold Florin of King Sigismund (1387–1437),” which was struck by the Hungarian Mint and won the Coin Classic category;
  • “The Year of the Rooster,” which was submitted by the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus and won the Souvenir Coin category;
  • “Historic Architectural Ensemble of the Novodevichy Convent in Moscow,” which was struck at the Saint Petersburg Mint and submitted by the Central Bank of Russia before being chosen as Gold Coin of the Year; and
  • “50 Years Australian Decimal Currency,” which was submitted by Australia’s Downies Coins and chosen as Coin of the Year.


According to the results of the online public vote, the Mint of Poland’s “Chinese Porcelain Vase Qing Dynasty” silver coin received the People’s Choice Award. There were more than 13,000 votes submitted to the contest, and the “Chinese Porcelain Vase” coin received an average score of 8.23 points to win this category.

A “special prize” was also given to Germany’s Numiscom for its combination of technological innovations and artistic design.

Georgy Luntovskiy, a member of the board of directors of the Bank of Russia, received a prize “for the contribution to the development of commemorative coins market.”

Monnaie de Paris also received a prize “for the contribution to the development of commemorative coins market” for innovative and stylistic interpretations of numismatic classics.

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